The Tennessee Association of Dance annually solicits nominations for the Outstanding Dance Educator Award in mid summer. This peer award honors the fine professionals working in Tennessee and also earns public recognition for the importance of dance education. The honoree is awarded a plaque at the Tennessee Dance Festival and receives free annual membership and conference registration the following year.

The Outstanding Dance Educator Award recognizes and honors excellence in the field of dance education. The recipient must:

  • have a minimum of five years experience teaching dance within the state of Tennessee,
  • hold current individual professional membership of the Tennessee Association of Dance,
  • have been a member of TAD for at least three out of the last five years,
  • exhibit excellence in teaching technique,
  • exhibit the ability to engender a love and enthusiasm for dance,
  • offer high quality artistic opportunities for students,
  • show concern for the unique needs of individual dancers,
  • be nominated for the award by an individual professional TAD member.

Service within the local community and on a statewide level will also be considered. Final selection will be determined by the Tennessee Association of Dance board of directors from nominations made by Tennessee Association of Dance member professionals. The award will be presented at the State Conference.

This award is made at the discretion of the TAD Awards Committee and Board of Directors, based on the merit and presentation of the nominations. The Association is not obligated to give the award.

 Past Recipients

  • Ann Law: Chattanooga
  • Deborah Whelan: Knoxville
  • Melinda Brown Guion: Knoxville
  • Cathie Kasch: Chattanooga
  • Kaylee Cahoon: Brentwood
  • Pat Brown: Jackson
  • Moira Logan: Memphis
  • Leslie Matthews: Nashville


  • Debbie Belue: Nashville
  • Laurel Zahrobsky: Chattanooga
  • Lori Ann Sparks: Greeneville
  • Peggy Denny: Knoxville
  • Kathleen Callaghan: Nashville
  • Nicole  Koenig:  Nashville
  • Karen Wilson:  Chattanooga
  • Ann Shea: Chattanooga


Please complete the form below to nominate your candidate.

Or download the attached form and mail to TAD by September 11, 2016..

Nominee's name *
Nominee's name
Submitted by: *
Submitted by:
Application must be completed by September 11

Three letters of recommendation must be sent to:

Tennessee Association of Dance
P.O. Box 330760
Murfreesboro, TN 37133